Study Spanish in Cádiz, Spain
Cádiz is a staggering place, replete with a mysterious allure that maps its millenary heritage. The oldest continuously inhabited city in the western hemisphere, an incredibly popular destination for Spanish courses, and one of the oldest cities in the world at large, Cádiz has been home to every significant civilization for the past 3,000 years. From the audacious Phoenicians to their ambitious offspring, the Carthaginians, past the Romans, Visigoths and Muslims, the city has always featured as an important settlement, of strategic relevance both for military and commercial use.
Consequently, Cádiz has grown through the ages, more intermittently than might be assumed, but with a remarkable cohesion that today is evidenced in the eclectic mix of style and services, of comfort and history, it offers to both its visitors and 135,000 residents. At the same time, the topography of the city's very specific, totally unique and utterly breathtaking location has also reduced the growth of the population to the closed quarters of the narrow slice of land that protrudes from the mainland and reaches out into the sea.
At the same time, however, the significance and attraction to the site has transformed the Bay of Cádiz into one of the busiest and most active hotspots in Spain, helping to develop areas in the vicinity of the city, both at the foot of the jutting peninsula and on the opposite end of the bay. Such has been the case with Puerto Real and Puerto de Santa Marta, both within ten miles of Cádiz, and San Fernando and Rota, slightly more distanced from the capital of the province.
All in all, the Bay of Cádiz boasts well over half a million people, and, as such, features every conceivable service and commodity expected from a modern city. At the same time, the huge extension where the population is distributed, together with the proximity of the coastline, the Mediterranean lifestyle and the very special atmosphere (the smell of fish, the daily routine) that pertains to what ultimately is a (huge) fishing village, make it absolutely desirable to learn Spanish in Cádiz and to spend some time in one of the most beautiful cities in the Iberian world.
The Stuff of Legends
The story goes that Cádiz was founded by Heracles, no less, all the way back in the days when heroes were real and immortal. Such is the tale of the great Greek legend, whose intemperance was to cost him plenty of perils and labours. The son of Zeus with the most beautiful woman in the world, Alcmene, Heracles (known as Hercules in the Latin world) was the recipient of all the hatred of Zeus' wife, Hera, to the point where she sent the goddess of childbirth, Ilithyia, to stop his mother from giving birth to him, after tricking Zeus into promising that a descendant of the House of Perseus born that very night would become the ruler of all those around him.
Hera's choice for High King was Eurystheus, who was born two months prematurely, while Heracles only came to the world seven days later, through the guile of his mother's servant, who tricked Ilithyia into losing her grip on Alcmene's womb for a crucial moment. Many years later, Hera's undiluted hatred for Heracles led him to suffer an outrageous fit of anger one night, while feasting with his wife and two children in Thebes, which culminated in him slaying both his son and daughter. Heracles was cured from his madness by Antikyreus, who gave him an antidote, only to be ordered by the Oracle of Delphi to atone for his guilt through ten years of service under King Eurystheus.
Unaware of Hera's hand in the Oracle's divination, as well as in the appointment of Eurystheus, instead of Heracles, as the king of Argos, the latter followed suit, more confused than relieved. What ensued was the famous myth of the Labours of Heracles, which originally were ten, before being extended to twelve due to the fact that he was aided by his nephew, Iolaus, the charioteer, in the slaying of the Hydra, and he exacted payment for the cleaning of the stables of Augeas.
It was during the accomplishing of the tenth task, herding Geryon's cattle, that Heracles came to the Bay of Cádiz: Geryon's kingdom was centered in the small island of Erytheia, right at the end of the world, which corresponds to present day San Fernando. That is why the coat of arms of Cádiz contains the pillars of Heracles, which he is said to have erected as a sign of the westernmost point of his travels. Similarly, a temple was founded in his name in the island of Saint Peter, where the city is sprawled to this day.
Learn and Enjoy
Great beaches, sweeping views of the sea and long, palm-lined promenades complement the town's lively bars, fantastic museums, bustling commercial activity, and spectacular Cathedrals – all of this awaits you in the unparalleled environment of this extraordinary place. So come learn Spanish in Cádiz and discover it all for yourself!
Want to learn a bit more about Cádiz? Check out our handy Cádiz travel guide to discover all this seaside destination has to offer: things to do, what to see, when to go, interesting little facts and tid-bits and much more!